The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

C20 Queer Spaces: from Finella to Sissinghurst Talk

C20 Queer Spaces: from Finella to Sissinghurst Talk

Elizabeth Darling, Jane Stevenson, Adam Nathaniel Furman and Joshua Mardell,

Thursday  10 February 2022 at 8 pm 

Queer Spaces: An Atlas of LGBTQIA+ Places and Stories will be published by the RIBA in May 2022. The editors Adam Nathaniel Furman and Joshua Mardell will introduce the book to us, and the authors, Elizabeth Darling and Jane Stevenson, will talk about some significant C20 queer spaces and their remarkable stories.

The spaces will include: Finella, Cambridge (1928-1929); Elsa Lanchester’s Cave of Harmony, London (c.1921-1929); Sissinghurst, Kent (1930-1962); the Temple of Friendship, Paris (1920s-1960s); and the Dorset homes of the writers Valentine Ackland and Sylvia Townsend Warner.

Queer spaces have been conspicuously left out of the history of C20 architecture. Yet, they have proved vital to many queer-identifying people as places of refuge, safety, and self/group expressionism, across building types, and throughout the world.

Dr. Elizabeth Darling is Reader in Architectural History at Oxford Brookes University. She researches gender, sexuality, space and reform in the 1890s–1940s and interwar English modernism. Publications include Suffragette City (2020), Wells Coates  (2012) in the Twentieth Century Architects series, and Re-forming Britain (2007).

Prof. Jane Stevenson is a Senior Research Fellow at Campion Hall, University of Oxford. She was previously Regius Professor of Humanity, University of Aberdeen. Her publications include Baroque Between the Wars (2018).

Members:  £4. Non-Members: £6.

We will send you a Zoom link by email after you book, which will enable you to “join” the event, and we’ll be using the Q&A function to take questions at the end. If you’ve not used Zoom before, clicking on the Zoom link will take you through the set-up process, hopefully simply and smoothly! You should receive an automated link within an hour of booking so please check your spam/junk emails if you haven't received this. Any further problems please contact

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The Twentieth Century Society is a registered charity, no 1110244

Above: Finella, Queen's Road, Cambridge: twin living rooms with the entrance corridor reflected in a mirrored wall (1929), Photograph: Dell & Wainwright / RIBA Collections.

The Twentieth Century Society is an IHBC (Institute of Historic Building conservation) recognised CPD provider.


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